Saudi Arabia Leads the Way in AI Innovation at FII Miami Summit

The Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute, a non-profit foundation based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, hosted its first-ever FII Miami Summit on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024. The summit, which was held in partnership with the City of Miami and the Miami-Dade County, brought together more than 500 global leaders, experts, and innovators from various sectors and industries, to explore the opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence (AI) and sustainable technology .

The FII Miami Summit was part of the FII Institute’s series of global events, which aim to create a platform for dialogue and collaboration on the most pressing issues and trends that shape the future of humanity. The FII Institute, which was established in 2020, is an extension of the FII, an annual investment forum that was launched in 2017 by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund .

The FII Miami Summit focused on three main themes: AI for Good, AI for Growth, and AI for Creativity. The summit featured keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and showcases, where the participants shared their insights, experiences, and solutions on how to harness the power of AI and sustainable technology to address the social, economic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century .

A Bold Leap by Saudi Arabia in AI Development and Investment

The FII Miami Summit also highlighted the bold leap that Saudi Arabia has taken in the field of AI development and investment, as part of its Vision 2030, a strategic plan to diversify its economy and enhance its global competitiveness. Saudi Arabia, which is the largest economy and the most populous country in the Middle East, has been investing heavily in AI and related technologies, such as big data, cloud computing, robotics, and biotechnology, to transform its key sectors and industries, such as energy, health, education, and tourism .

In October 2020, Saudi Arabia launched its National Strategy for Data and Artificial Intelligence (NSDAI), which aims to make the country a global leader and a hub for innovation and excellence in AI by 2030. The strategy, which is led by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), has four main pillars: enabling data and AI, becoming a global AI player, unlocking the potential of data and AI, and governing data and AI .

The strategy also has ambitious targets, such as attracting $20 billion in local and foreign investments, creating 20,000 data and AI jobs, generating $135 billion in additional GDP, and ranking among the top 15 countries in the Global AI Index by 2030 .

A Strategic Partnership between SDAIA and Google Cloud

One of the highlights of the FII Miami Summit was the announcement of a strategic partnership between SDAIA and Google Cloud, one of the world’s leading providers of cloud computing and AI services. The partnership, which was signed by Dr. Abdullah bin Sharaf Al-Ghamdi, the president of SDAIA, and Thomas Kurian, the CEO of Google Cloud, aims to empower women in Saudi Arabia to pursue careers and leadership roles in AI and machine learning .

The partnership will launch a new joint initiative, called Women in AI, which will provide training, mentorship, and certification programs for Saudi women who are interested in learning and developing skills in AI and machine learning. The initiative will also create a network of female AI professionals and leaders, who will inspire and support each other, and contribute to the advancement of AI in Saudi Arabia and beyond .

The partnership will also leverage Google Cloud’s expertise and infrastructure to support SDAIA’s projects and initiatives, such as the National Data Bank, the National Information Center, and the National Platform for AI. The partnership will also explore new opportunities for collaboration and innovation in various domains and applications of AI, such as health, education, energy, and security .

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